Today’s guest post is by Peppercommer Catharine Cody.

catAs Christians prepare to celebrate the holiest holiday of the year, I am preparing my body for a trip to St. Lucia with two of my best friends. How am I getting in swimsuit shape? Yoga. That’s why I was shocked to hear that one school in Georgia banned the word “Namaste.”

Parents in Georgia say that yoga is a religious practice, and if their kids can’t say the pledge of allegiance, they shouldn’t practice yoga.

Yoga is not a religious practice. It’s about channeling your breathing, energy and mind in order to destress the body from daily minutia of everyday problems.

I was hooked on yoga from my very first class. Yoga helps you focus on breathing, so you can train your mind to forget about your problems, and just simply be in the moment.

As a PR executive, I am constantly on.  I respond to emails starting at 7am and do not fully unplug until about 8pm. I am always worried about upcoming launches, new stories to pitch, how to reach reporters in new ways and staying on top of my email.

Once I discovered yoga, however, I learned that just through breathing and focusing on one task at a time, I could destress myself.

Sure, one of my instructors once told me to push my psychic energy to someone “who needed it.” But, the key thing here is, yoga does not push religion. You can use it as a part of your religious practice, but you can also use it as a way to calm your mind and body.  And, that’s why I practice it.

So, when Georgia banned the word “Namaste” from class, they essentially banned a technique to help kids naturally destress and decompress. In today’s 24/7 world where we’re constantly connected to some sort of device, it’s absolutely critical that we learn to unplug and just breathe.
Thank you for reading this blog, and may you all have a peaceful weekend. Namaste.




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  4. They probably don’t know the meaning of “Namaste.” Yoga can be used as part of a spiritual practice, but no one is asking Westerners to chant to Hindu gods during Downward Facing Dog. These folks should focus on banning Halloween 🙂
    –the Divine Light in me honors the Divine Light in you

    • Agreed Julie! Today’s mantra “the divine fire in me honors the divine fire in you.”

  5. Nice post, Catharine. I usually destress with a Sam Adams and an episode of Fixer Upper on Netflix. Your way sounds much better.

    • Thanks Carl! If a Sam Adams and Netflix is how you destress, then I’m all for it. However we choose to decompress is great. The important thing is to remember that we need to unplug for our own sanity. 🙂

  6. Thanks, Steve. Practicing yoga is one of the best things I’ve done for myself, and I feel sorry for the kids in Georgia who won’t be able to benefit from it.